The Decemberists Tour And Five Other Things You Need To Know About The Band

by Noiz 19. May 2015 19:19

The Decemberists Tour And Five Other Things You Need To Know About The Band

The Decemberists are currently touring North America.  Their trek resumes May 22 at the Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend, Oregon.  That night they’ll be joined by Spoon and The Districts.

Their robust itinerary includes a bunch of amphitheaters and pavilions as well as several festivals: the Sasquatch Music Festival, the Free Press Summer Festival, the Newport Folk Festival, and the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival.

In fact, the last dates on their itinerary are the two weekends of the Austin City Limits Festival.  The Decemberists tour will be in central Texas between Oct. 2 and Oct. 4 and then again between Oct. 9 and Oct. 11.

Fans should also look for The Decemberists at Red Rocks on May 27, New York City on June 5, and Boston on Sept. 23.

Spoon and The Districts aren’t the only acts set to support The Decemberists.  Calexico, Courtney Barnett, Dan Mangan + Blacksmith, Father John Misty, Lady Lamb, Lucius, Shovels & Rope, and Wartime Blues will also spend time on the marquee.

The Decemberists are 15 years old, but they are differently not like other bands of that age.  Below, Clickitticket enumerates five things you absolutely need to know about The Decemberists.  The following five tidbits will be illuminating to both new and longtime fans of the bands.

>>The Decemberists Have Changed
Time changes us and it changes alt indie bands too.  Certainly, The Decemberists are a different band than they were 12, 10, or even 5 years ago. 

Their “change,” however, isn’t for the mere sake of changing nor is it a decline masquerading behind the euphuism of “change.”

The band’s change is much more organic.

They’ve matured and they’ve also encountered some real life obstacles. 

Colin Meloy’s oldest child is autistic and his education has taken up a lot of the frontman’s time.

Meanwhile, Jenny Conlee was diagnosed with breast cancer that has thankfully gone into remission.

What this all means is the 2015 Decemberists are different; they’re a wiser bunch with their priorities in order.  Fortunately, this has had a positive effect on their music.

>>The Decemberists Have An Affinity For Oregon
Even fans that have only been around since The Hazards of Love days know that the band is from Portland, Oregon.  Few know that The Decemberists have a real affinity for the state. 

Their 2015 schedule still contains four concerts in Oregon and just this past March they performed in Portland.

There are a lot of bands that haven’t visited Oregon five times in a decade much less a year.

On top of that…

The Decemberists have two shows scheduled in Washington and another in Idaho—both Oregon adjacent.  And for what it’s worth, they’re playing the State Theatre in Portland, Maine on July 29.

BTW…

Meloy owns a barn with the longest single-piece beam in the state. 

>>The Decemberists Get It!
There are smart bands, wise bands, intelligent bands, and even witty bands.  But few bands, regardless of their mental acumen, actually get “IT.” 

Get what?

By getting “IT” I mean they understand their relationship with their audience.

Fans want their bands to grow creatively and explore new musical frontiers… in the studio.  But in concert fans want them to play all their biggest hits.

A lot of bands, especially those as old as The Decemberists, fight this unwritten contract.  They want fans to only care about their new stuff (see Smashing Pumpkins).

The Decemberists are not one of those bands.

“I think about ourselves: do people want us to keep having “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” to finish every set? And I guess they do.   There’s a certain obligation that you have to satisfy, and I think that’s why people continue to come to our shows.  We’re mindful that there is a tacit agreement; we’re going to suck it up.” — Colin Meloy

The first track off their new album also discusses this relationship. 

In “The Singer Addresses His Audience," Meloy croons:

We know, we know, we belong to ya
We know you threw your arms around us
In the hopes we wouldn't change
But we had to change some

The song, as well as the band’s attitude, isn’t mean spirited or angry.  It’s honest (and perhaps a little cathartic). 

If they didn’t write and perform songs like “The Singer Addresses His Audience" then the pressure to do stuff like end every show with “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” would ruin them.

>>The Decemberists Are A Great Live Band
You may not associate The Decemberists with great live music but they are actually quite amazing in concert.  Their prowess on stage surpasses that of their contemporaries—Arcade Fire, Death Cab for Cutie, Feist, and The National.

Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect at a Decemberists concert:

...For a little folk band from the Rose City they really know how to rock. 

...If you have Decemberists tickets expect about a two hour show.

...The audience will be mostly hipsters in their 30s and 40s.

...Meloy is a master at the art of bantering with the audience.

...Warm up your vocal chords.  There are plenty of opportunities to sing at Decemberists shows.

...The band is known to have a whale puppet come on stage during “The Mariner’s Revenge Song.”

...There will probably be confetti.

>>The Decemberists Are At The Top Of Their Game
From the summer of 2011 to March of 2013 The Decemberists were on hiatus.  Their first album after returning is What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World.  It may be one of the best works they’ve ever released.

That’s almost unheard of in alternative rock circles.  Unless you’re U2, in your 15th year you’re making average records aimed solely at your core audiences.

Not The Decemberists. 

They made a great album anchored by the singles “Make You Better” and “The Wrong Year.”

Don’t believe me?

Punknews.org said that in What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World The Decemberists have “crafted one of, if not their best album ever a full decade and a half into their career.”

Paste Magazine says “What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World is another chapter in the already punctuated saga of one of rock’s best modern lyricists and his talented band.”

What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World Reviews
... Rolling Stone – Four out of five stars
... The Telegraph – Four out of five stars
... All Music – Four out of five stars
... Pop Matters – Eight out of ten stars
... Spin Magazine – 7 out of 10
... Amazon Customer Reviews – Four and half stars out of five
... iTunes Customer Reviews – Four and half stars out of five

The album is not without its faults.  Some think it’s a little too long and not ambitious enough.  Others, and this seem to be the bulk of the ire against the work, don’t like the fact that the band has changed.

The album peaked at number seven on the Billboard 200.

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Sublime With Rome Red Rocks Show Will Be Full Of Nostalgia

by Noiz 3. May 2015 18:03

Sublime With Rome Red Rocks Show Will Be Full Of Nostalgia

Nostalgia implies a desire to relive the past.

Music, more than any other medium, makes us nostalgic.  Old songs inspire us to reminiscent about the “good ol’ days.”  We frequently associate music with a particular time in our lives.

For example:

A Beatles song may return baby boomers to high school.  Pearl Jam’s Ten may cause members of Generation X to relive the halcyon days of throwing a Frisbee around campus while wearing flannel shirts and ripped blue jeans.

Despite the organic and fundamental relationship between music and nostalgia, the concept is generally disparaged by the so-called rock intelligentsia. 

After all, the “rock intelligentsia” wants all musicians to be pushing music forward all the time.  Heaven forbid we just listen to a few tunes and have some fun every once in a while.

Of course:

There are bands whose sole purpose is to be nostalgic (think Moody Blues, The Doobie Brothers, and/or The Beach Boys).  These acts are generally excoriated by critics and pundits.

It’s hard for any band that’s been around for a while not to have some element of nostalgia even if they go out of their way NOT to cultivate it.  Certainly, those who remember the 1980s will have a much different relationship to old U2 songs like “Unforgettable Fire” and “Follow” then someone born during the Clinton Administration.

However:

Nostalgia can work in another way.  Instead of returning you to a previous era, some music can make you long for what might have been.

The poster boy for what might have been, at least musically, is Bradley Nowell. 

Sublime
Bradley Nowell fronted a rock band called Sublime.  He died in 1996 of a heroin overdose.  He was just 28.

Nowell had “It.”  He had an ineffable quality that made the chords he strummed and the phrases he sang better than everyone else’s. 

Get this:

I remember exactly where I was when I heard Sublime for the first time.  I cannot say the same thing about Nirvana (or Pearl Jam and especially not Smashing Pumpkins).

I was in my car in my driveway when “Wrong Way” was played on the local alternative radio station.  Much to the chagrin of my significant other, I sat in the car and listened to the entire song.  I was mesmerized, but I didn’t know who I was listening to.

Remember:

This was before music fans could use smart phones to identity unknown pieces of music.  This was before smart phones. 

Not long after that, I visited a friend who had the band’s self-titled third, and final, studio album on compact disc.  I immediately had him play it and soon found myself adoring every track. 

Amazing:

I had never heard anything like Sublime before.  Their music was so Californian but also so universal.   It was simple but thought provoking.  It was exciting and full of energy.

Then my friend told me the bad news: Bradley Nowell was dead.

Sublime with Rome Songs

Sublime, or at least the remaining two members, Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh, returned to the stage in 2009 with a new front man, Rome Ramirez.  After Nowell’s family threatened to sue, the band changed its name to “Sublime with Rome” and continued performing and recording.

Gaugh has since left the group.  He’s been replaced by legendary drummer Josh Freese. 

Sublime with Rome performs Sublime songs as well as cuts from their 2011 opus, Yours Truly.  This makes them sort of a hybrid of a brand new band and the old Sublime. 

Needless to say:

A lot of music fans are recalcitrant to accept a band that’s without its full contingent of original musicians (or at least the lineup that made the band popular).  There are those who think Sublime with Rome is nothing more than a tribute band. 

Who cares about what the naysayers say! 

Great music is great music.  Rome Ramirez is no Bradley Nowell but he’s a great performer and frontman in his own right.   

Obviously:

We all wish certain bands were still together and touring, but if the Rolling Stones have taught us anything it’s that we can’t always get what we want.  We should, however, enjoy what we have.

We have Sublime with Rome.

Kudos to them for keeping the music, sound, and vibe of Bradley Nowell alive and introducing his legacy to a brand new generation of fans.

Sublime with Rome Tour
I digressed.  So let me return to the other side of nostalgia…

When I attend an upcoming Sublime with Rome tour stop, and the fellows play “What I Got” or “Santeria,” I’m going to get nostalgic. 

Here it is:

Not necessarily about the past, although that will happen, but nostalgic about what might have been. 

I firmly believe that had Bradley Nowell lived rock music would have been considerably different.  He certainly would have changed the band’s upcoming tour.  Instead of intimate venues, Sublime would have been playing football stadiums.

Sublime with Rome Take It or Leave It
The band kicks off their 2015 North American tour on June 20 in Montebello, Quebec.  It ends Aug. 20 in Redmond, Washington (the second of two shows). 

The trio has a bunch of concerts planned—it’s their biggest tour yet—but their ultimate stop is the Sublime with Rome Red Rocks show on Aug. 22.

Think about it:

Procuring Sublime with Rome at Red Rocks tickets means you’ll be experiencing the ultimate convergence of nostalgia.  You’ll have a nostalgic band playing at one of the world’s most nostalgic concert venues. 

Everyone remembers their first concert at Red Rocks. 

Sublime With Rome Red Rocks
Situated ten miles outside of Denver, Red Rocks is one of the most beautiful open-air amphitheaters in United States.  The intimate venue opened in 1906 and seats fewer than 9,500.  The stage is surrounded on three sides by huge rocks. 

Red Rocks Amphitheatre was made by God… with a little help from architect Burnham Hoyt.

Check it out:

Over the years the venue has hosted performances from such legendary acts as The Beatles, U2, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, and Rush. 

A bunch of artists have recorded live albums at Red Rocks including Dave Matthews Band, Incubus, Blues Traveler, John Tesh, and Steve Martin.

Sublime with Rome New album
Besides looking for a Sublime with Rome concert near you, you should also look for their second studio album.  The band is planning on releasing a new opus sometime this summer. 

Sublime with Rome’s first album, Yours Truly, hit streets in 2011.

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Keith Urban Tour May End In Divorce

by Noiz 28. April 2015 09:41

Keith Urban Tour May End In Divorce

I generally don’t care about musicians’ private lives.  I only care about their music.

Who they sleep with is their business.  The music they release is mine.  Not only that, but their music is real; it’s the truth.  Who knows if the salacious details about their sordid private lives are actually true or just rumors?

However:

I’m lifting my band on musicians’ private lives to talk about Keith Urban.  His life away from the spotlight is just too good to pass up.

The American Idol Judge and his wife, Nicole Kidman, are staring down the barrel of a divorce.

Their marital bliss is being threatened by infidelities, too much time apart, and constant bickering.

Nothing shocking there.

Quick aside:

I find it odd that celebrity couples frequently site “too much time apart” as a reason for ending their relationship.  Don’t these busy celebrities discuss their schedules before saying “I do?”  If you’re a country music star who’s on the road for half of the year and an actress who consistently spends six months filming movies, wouldn’t you factor that into your relationship?

Returning to the main focus of my argument, another reason for their matrimony demise is the fact that Kidman wants her mother to move in them.

When I heard this I rolled on the floor laughing.

Urban and Kidman are powerful, popular international celebrities but their relationship is being derailed by the greatest marriage pitfall of all-time: FAMILY.

Hilarious!

Most people think money is what sinks couples.  While money can be a problem for any two people, regardless of whether or not they’re in a romantic relationship (or have more money than God), the real marriage quicksand is the “in-laws.”

You know you’re going to argue about money.  The arguments over family come out of nowhere.

Keith Urban Wife, Mother-In-Law Make Him Like Us

Keith Urban tours may have the New Zealand-born guitarist performing in front of millions of adoring fans, but he has to let his mother-in-law move in with him just like the rest of us poor saps.

Urban thinks having a mother-in-law around will adversely affect his marriage.  Since he’s the husband, and Kidman’s the wife, Kidman’s mom will definitely be moving in… sometime yesterday.

Shacking up with your mother-in-law makes Urban like you and me.  On the other hand, renewing your wedding vows returns Urban to the weird realm of celebrity-dom.

Renewing your wedding vows?  Where did that come from?

Well, to save their marriage, Keith and Nicole renewed their wedding vows.

Who does that?

The answer is celebrity couples about to get a divorce.

Keith Urban Divorce Will Produce Some Great Music

A divorce isn’t necessarily a bad thing for Keith Urban fans.  Heartache usually produces at least one good album and one great song.  Also, for most performers, the live stage is a sanctuary.  So, Urban’s upcoming summer tour should be a good one.

Urban’s tour begins June 12 in Hunter, New York and ends Sept. 19 in Puyallup, Washington.  There’s a straggler date on Oct. 3 when he plays Las Vegas.

All of the upcoming Keith Urban concerts are taking place at either music festivals or fairs. 

Now:

This entire divorce saga could be a bit overstated. 

I know it’s shocking that something you read on the internet could be a lie.

The talk of an Urban-Kidman divorce seems to be the product of one author, Amanda Austin.  She writes for a site called Celeb Dirty Laundry. 

You really won’t find Urban-Kidman divorce rumors anywhere else.

Kidman fans are speculating that Austin is a scientologist and is trying to hurt Kidman by writing spuriously about her marriage.

That sounds like a stretch but I’ll give up my autograph copy of Be Here for it to be true.  It would be awesome if that was what was actually going on.

Keith Urban Song Heats Up Chart

You know what they say:

Unlucky in love.  Lucky in country music. 

Well, they don’t say that, but they could.

While Urban’s marriage is on the rocks his music career isn’t.  His latest single, “Raise ‘Em Up” featuring Eric Church, went to number three on the Country Airplay Billboard chart.

That gives Urban his 33rd straight top-ten country music radio hit—it also the 32nd time that one of his singles peaked inside the top five.

“The support I get from my friends at country radio, and the fans, is absolutely astounding.  It’s what makes ALL of this possible, and I can’t wait to hit the road again and thank you all in the best way I know how!”  — Keith Urban

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Jerry Seinfeld Tour Continues As Does Comedians In Cars

by Noiz 27. April 2015 13:06

Jerry Seinfeld Tour Continues As Does Comedians In Cars

You’ve got to love Jerry Seinfeld.

Even though he’s a huge star, a legendary stand-up comedian, and so wealthy he could hunt humans on a private island, he still manages to find a way to remain relatable.

Here’s why:

He’s down-to-Earth enough to correctly sum up YouTube. 

“We have a giant garbage can called YouTube for user-generated content.” — Jerry Seinfeld

Cue sound effect of riotous standing ovation.

Seinfeld recently made the aforementioned comment during a Q&A session at the Hudson Theater.  He was there promoting the Web site, and Sony-owned property, Crackle.

Someone asked the legend, whose Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee can be seen on Crackle:

“Do you think user-generated content is going to play a big part in this space [Crackle]?”

First of all:

Anyone who uses the term “user-generated content” deserves to be run over by a car driven by comedians getting coffee (unless you use it in an answer to a question that features the phrase “user-generated content”).

Second of all:

Seinfeld isn’t being pretentious, like the person who asked the question about “user-generated content.”  He’s being a visionary.

His premise is “TV is over,” which he announced earlier in the evening, and the content that should populate the internet isn’t the plethora of garbage you find on YouTube but stuff made by professionals. 

Halleluiah!

As Seinfeld puts it:

“Show business is for talent” (or at least it should be).

Although, I’m sure Seinfeld will agree that cat videos are excluded.

Now:

Neither Seinfeld, nor myself, are saying you shouldn’t make your own videos.  All we’re saying is we would rather watch videos made by people who actually know what they’re doing. 

As for those videos made by people who don’t know what they’re doing, I think Jerry speaks for everyone when he says:

“I don’t want to see this crap.”

Returning to Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

In the program’s upcoming sixth season, which begins June 4 on Crackle, Seinfeld reunites with actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus. 

Louis-Dreyfus is the last of the Seinfeld cast to appear on the show.  Jason Alexander and Michael Richards have already made appearances so has Seinfeld co-creator Larry David.

Seinfeld Is Still Influential

The legendary sitcom ended 17 years ago but it’s still having an impact on hip hop.

Rapper extraordinaire and one of Jerry’s buddies, Wale, recently released a studio offering called The Album About Nothing.  It’s the third release in a series of Seinfeld-themed works (the last two being mixtapes). 

Jerry Seinfeld does appear on the album.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t rap.

Like the show that inspired it, Wale’s fourth studio album is a success.  It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.

On the album’s cover, Wale’s name is incorporated into a Seinfeld-like logo.  Also, all the track titles begin with the definite article “the,” just like all the titles for the 180 episodes of Seinfeld.

Are You Going To See Seinfeld On Tour?

Another great thing about Seinfeld is behind the funny people he puts in cars, the rap albums he cuts, and the iconic television shows he stars in, he’s one of the greatest stand-up comedians of all-time.

The Mount Rushmore of Stand-Up Comedy
Lenny Bruce
George Carlin
Richard Pryor
Jerry Seinfeld

If you’re a fan of his sitcom, or his rap albums, you must see Seinfeld live.  It’s like watching a master at work.  The command he has of his material, as well as his energy, timing, and delivery, is as close to perfection as you can get. 

This spring and summer, Seinfeld is performing a bunch of shows in the Midwest and the East Coast.  Hopefully, he’s performing in your neck of the woods.

For example:

Seinfeld will be in Rockford, Illinois at the Coronado Performing Arts Center on May 15; in Memphis, Tennessee at the Orpheum Theatre on May 29; and Jamestown, New York at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena on Aug. 1.

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There are a few of us here at ClickitTicket who contribute to this blog. We are huge music and sports fans and attend concerts and games on a regular basis.

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